When I expressed my disappointment at the behavior of Smart Girl Media, my DC brother quipped that I live in the “heart of the heart of it.” That makes me sad.
My Tennessee is mountains, valleys, rivers and forests. It is beautiful and filled with good people. The Tennessee that I know and I love doesn’t sort everyone by red shirts and blue shirts. My Tennessee realizes that everyone is connected and usually by family. My TN is composed of people who care about their neighbors, near and far. My TN is embarrassed by the undercurrent of racism and doesn’t tolerate it being out in the open. My TN has always looked upon college education as fancy, but expects children to graduate from high school and do their best. My TN doesn’t glorify ignorance and discourage small children from learning from anyone in the wrong color shirt. My TN church ladies are pure souls who quietly and without fanfare, lift the downtrodden. They are not the self-righteous wannabe church celebrities who pat themselves on the back as they kick the hungry or homeless. My TN is composed of politicians whose goal to remain in office is sought by helping keep economies alive and the poorest employed. It is not represented by elected officials who will sacrifice the needs of the people in order to block any accomplishments by the people in the wrong color shirt.
I love Tennessee and the people who live here. If the heart of TN has turned angry, I want to heal it. We are better than this. So much better that I don’t want to accept this ugliness as the heart of TN. I prefer to think of it as the gluteus maximus of our state. You know, the part that needs to shape up.